Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spelling Rules & Grammar Guides


I’m always correcting the children’s spelling and whilst my grammar isn’t poor, I must have missed the week at school when they covered things like clauses and collocation. (Have you ever heard of that last one??)

My son, in year 6, comes home with English homework that really makes me wonder if I was even on the planet for grammar lessons. The girls, in Year 3 don’t stretch me quite so far … yet!

I was thrilled to find the website KidsLearningisfun (through the fabulous site Connect2mums) who make some tremendous little guides for parents and children to keep at home and help out when you get stuck with helping with homework. I have two guides - Spelling Rules and Grammar which are aimed at grades 1 through 7.

My son at 11 is quite capable of using the guide himself (without involving me at all – always a good thing) and I can show the girls (age 8) the more basic levels.

The guides are well designed – each page on the spiral bound book is laminated so eating afternoon tea and doing homework isn’t as damaging as it could be! The guides are colour coded for easy and quick reference.

I like the spelling rules – mentioning some of those tried and true favourite sayings to remember your spelling such as “i before e except after c” that they no longer seem to teach in schools, and going into more depth by covering less well known rules and exceptions.

The grammar book is sure to become well used. Even my son took an interest flicking through it to refresh his memory, saying “I always forget what nouns and stuff are”. Hmmm, well boys are known for their inability to express themselves!

The guides are well priced at $22.95 for the Grammar and $19.95 for the Spelling Rules. Basically if you have a child currently at primary school or starting soon, these will become an indispensable part of the homework roundabout.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Trinny and Susannah - What you wear can change your life

Authors: Trinny Woodall; Susannah Constantine

A self-confessed Trinny and Susannah watcher, this is the first book of theirs I have read and I’m glad I have!

Of “What Not To Wear” BBC fame, the famous duo share their insights with the women of the world to give them all more confidence (and look better too!).

The book covers basics such as sorting out what shape you actually are, good underwear and what colours will suit you, it then goes on to more involved topics like encouraging you to cull your wardrobe and sort out storage.

I love how they feature themselves as prime examples of what to do and what not to do, and they’re not afraid to share their faults with the world.

Great tips on beauty, hair, makeup and accessories, for which women basically have an inexhaustible need! So, no complaints in that department

As a bonus there are even tips for pregnancy and travelling. All in all a book full of wonderful gems of advice that won’t go astray.

Naturally, this isn’t a deep book. It's light, humorous and more of a ready reference guide. Skim through once quickly and then take the advice section by section as you have need.

The Audrey Hepburn Treasures

Authors: Ellen Erwin, Jessica Z Diamond

I just adore Audrey Hepburn and this book makes you feel like one of the family!

With a foreward by Audrey’s son Sean Ferrer, he offers a glimpse into the private Audrey and shares some of her most treasured mementos and memories.

Presented as part book/ part album the book includes replicas of original photos, letters and documents stored in special sections throughout the book.

Starting with photos and documents from Audrey’s birth and childhood and proceeding through the special occasions and career milestones throughout her life. Treasures such as a receipt for Audrey’s Best Actress Oscar for Roman Holiday from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fan letters and programs from her shows. Memories such as a note from Audrey’s grandfather, Baron van Heemstra, after he saw her dance in 1944, a letter from Cary Grant in 1982 and press clippings about Audrey. Photos such as Audrey’s baby photo, dance photos, family occasions and many more personal mementos.

Truly one for the fans that want to know the enigmatic Audrey that little bit better.